Finding your balance: Insights into world class portfolio management
by Ben Thuriaux-Aleman, Robin Francis, Colin Davies, Nils Bohlin
Findings from Arthur D. Little’s R&D Management Best Practice Study

In the current era of technological disruption and global competition, it is more important than ever to have a clear grip on how the full intent of corporate strategy is manifested in the R&D portfolio. Allocating resources in line with that strategy achieves better results - yet all too often, companies rely on stage gate controls at individual project or program levels. This is not sufficient to achieve the dynamic R&D portfolio management and resource allocation that global corporations need to stay ahead.

The aim of ADL’s recent study on



R&D best practice was to acquire in-depth qualitative insight into emerging approaches to R&D management. Twenty-three case studies were developed, with fifteen companies identified as innovation leaders, spread across a broad range of technology-intensive industries including medical devices, pharma, consumer goods, specialty chemicals, food & beverage, oil & gas and industrial equipment. We have further validated and refined the findings through a program of interviews with participating study members.

Based on the results of the study, this article focuses on what is considered world class in R&D portfolio management and what companies can do to achieve a seamless integration of corporate strategy, innovation strategy, and R&D portfolio management.